One of Austin’s most highly regarded food trucks is hitting the road. After less than two years in business, Hyde Park’s Vaquero Taquero quietly closed September 22.
Miguel Cobos, who owns the business with brother Daniel, says the team is selling the trailer in order to build a patio on the side of the brick-and-mortar at 104 E. 31st St., which opened in June.
“We want to focus on developing the brick-and-mortar to provide a good taqueria ambiance to the city — outdoor seating, culturally representative of taco culture, and carne asada smells,” Cobos tells CultureMap, adding that the business will be using an outdoor grill once construction is complete.
The move also means expanded hours for the restaurant. Beginning Tuesday, October 1, Vaquero Taquero will now be open from 7 am to 9 pm, Tuesday through Saturday.
The food truck's closing is part of the evolution for the concept, which is devoted to preserving the culinary culture of the Rio Grande Valley. The business started modestly in early 2016 as a paleta cart serving tacos in front of downtown’s Mexic-Arte Museum before the brothers purchased the truck in January 2017.
Cobos says that back then they blasted the trompo flames without a hood, even though the truck would reach 106 degree temperatures in the process. Together, the brothers slowly customized the trailer into a state-of-the-art mobile kitchen.
That same DIY ethos extended to the storefront, located in the former home of Go Go Gourmet. The brothers did all of the work themselves, laying tiles, creating a burnt finish for the walls, and building all the furniture.
Though Hyde Park residents will have to drive a little farther to get al pastor and homemade tortillas, the future looks bright for Vaquero Taquero. During its short run, it has become one of the most celebrated restaurants in Austin — including winning the 2019 CultureMap Tastemaker Award for Favorite Taco.